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April 22, 2024

Into the New Year

By Sand Pilarski

You wake up in the dark, wondering if the dog or the cat or the alarm is going to be the first to force you to get up. Everything is silent, and you don't move, not wanting to stir up the household by blundering about the room in the dark to look for a clock. And in the misty musings that tangle thoughts in the night, you remember that the date is going to be December 31st, the last day of the year. New Year's Eve. A thrill races through you: by this time tomorrow, dawn will be about to break on an entirely new year.

You can't help but wonder what the next year will bring. Everything that will happen to you in the next year is simply potential, shadows against a sunrise, which might disappear with the light, or explode into life-altering revelations or accidents or triumphs. There's no way to know, and the thought of those prospective events makes you shiver in the night.

One more day, and a new year begins.

Surely it will be a good new year, one in which you lose weight, get back in shape, clean out the garage, renew your acquaintance with your cousins, finish editing that novel and send it out to agents, re-do the landscaping in the front yard, replace the windows in the kitchen, sort out all the tools littering the workbench ... it will be a year of great prospects, fired by your resolve and hopes and best intentions. A new year is another chance in the making. Failure is a thing of the past, and as the calendar clicks over, all the crumbled resolutions of the past drop away like the dried leaves blown from a roof-gutter in the wind.

Blank calendars beg for great plans, schedules of responsibility and promises of vacations full of adventure. All the empty lines on empty dates look like a desert of endless dry and drifting sand. Your mind wants to fill them up, make them green with appointments, make them bloom with parties and playdates.

You have the power to make the year happen. You have all the equipment you need to make the new year a leap into history, a year that you could write about in a journal, a year that could become pure gold in your memories. This next year could be your best, your most productive, the one your friends envy; you know you have all the gear you need to take flight and soar, doing what other people only vaguely sigh and turn away from, unwilling to fling themselves off into the wide open unknown and take on new and challenging vistas.

As the hours of December 31st track by, your mind automatically takes stock of all that your personal armament has to offer in order to make this next year a year of triumph. You have years of experience, in things as disparate as changing a light bulb to shutting down a virus in your computer; from planting seedlings in a garden to hacking limbs off the oak tree that aggressively threatens to drop branches on your convertible. You can cook. You can order out. You can iron your own shirt. You can afford the cleaners so you don't have to. The best oil-change place in the city? You've got it nailed. You remember where the coffee-maker and the spatulas are stored in the kitchen, and your determination to keep Comet cleanser under the sink and scour the food prep surfaces once a week is swelling your heart with pride. This is what resolution is all about.

Real resolution isn't a matter of making a pledge to do something in the new year; you know this. Your resolution is the collection of building blocks that you've accrued over your lifetime, the collection that, cemented together, forms the foundation of your spirit.

As you wait for the morning of the new year, you know that the next 365 days are going to bring some hours that are going to be hard to get through, and some days in which you don't even want to go our your front door. The new year could bring tragedy, disappointment, frustration -- but it's your resolution that will carry you through them and past them, maybe just one painful step in front of the next. However, you know you have the stuff in your soul that will allow you to wake in the shadows of the dreaded mornings, look at your eyes in the mirror, and say, "I've got it. I'm unstoppable." Then you'll head off to joust with the windmills, get beaten up by the dragon, put up with a boss whose head is stuck in the tightest orifice in his body, and get through that day, an hour at a time. When the trials are done, you'll be able to shake off the shadows and step forward into light again.

So you've got the ideals, you've got some life-improvement plans, and you have all the moxy you need already waiting in your heart. You're all set to meet the new year with courage and good intentions. You can do it; you will get through every day that you have to get through; and you know, as you wait for New Year's morning, that there will be good days ahead. Use your resolution to promise to enjoy the good ones, every one of them, with all your being.

And if you can also pledge not to call the snotty neighbor in her gas-guzzling Yukon an idiot every time you see her, good. If you can pledge to exercise more and smoke/drink/eat less, all the better. But above all, be thankful that you're there to experience yet another New Year.

From the staff and writers at the Piker Press, best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

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Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2007-12-31
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